A bird eating spider sometimes known as Nephila pilipes. This specimen was found on the island in the Conservation Area and is sometimes seen as far south as Coffs Harbour. Primarily a tropical spider but occasionally found in rainforests of southern Queensland. Image taken of a large female spider with a leg span of 15cm. These spiders are not aggressive and non-venomous. A new species for the Conservation Area.
Wolf spiders are described as vagrant hunters who forage on the ground for prey. Although not aggressive their bite is painful and can cause local pain and swelling.
Reference; Honan P. Wild Australia Guide – Spiders
Further reference available - http://www.wolfspiders.org/
I was recently pouring over the excellent book – Voyages of Discovery A Visual Celebration of Ten of the Greatest Natural History Expeditions by Dr. Tony Rice. The chapter, Charting Australia 1801-1805 Mathew Flinders and Ferdinand Bauer details some of Bauers finest botanical illustrations from this voyage.
The reproduced plate (opposite) on page 221. amongst a few finely detailed sea creatures describes ” Also common in Australian waters was the spider crab, Gasteracantha mimax”. The description of this image appears to be incorrect as the plate also shows the completely black (melanic) specimens that also occur in both male and female Six-spined Spiders (Austracantha minax).
These tiny spiders are commonly found across Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge in the dry forests, grasslands and heath. “Also called the Jewel or Christmas spider. They capture insects by web and the egg sac is wrapped around a twig and then abandoned by the female. Found across all States and territories of Australia. Male body length 3-4mm. Female 8-10mm”.
Reference. Honan, P. A Wild Australia Guide- Spiders.
Image top left – Six-spined Spider on the wildlife refuge.
Images to right Bauer illustrations.
Image of a Comb-footed Spider, (Family; Theridiidae) often mistaken for the Red-back Spider. Found in the drier Open eucalypt Woodland on the wildlife refuge, favouring the bark of gum trees. Their bite is not dangerous and they do not build webs.
Reference and further reading: Honan, P. A Wild Australia Guide to Spiders.
Also known as the Horizontal Orb Spider and found throughout Australia. Usually building inclined or horizontal orb webs in moister forest areas on the wildlife refuge, sometimes close to water. These small 10mm spiders have small fangs and are reluctant to bite. However bite symptoms may include mild local pain, swelling and nausea.
I.D. courtesy of Ella Minton. Interpretive Officer, Australian Museum.
Further reading; http://australianmuseum.net.au/Silver-Orb-Weaving-Spiders/
One of the 260 species of Orb-weavers in Australia. “This species is extremely variable in colour and pattern. They feed on a wide range of flying insects at night and often after eating the web at dawn, retreat to foliage at the edge of the web. Bites are rare, causing only temporary symptoms and mild pain”. They are not an aggressive spider and found in many varieties from the open woodlands to creek surrounds on the wildlife refuge.
I.D. courtesy of Martyn Robinson. Naturalist, Australian Museum.
Further reading; http://www.findaspider.org.au/find/spiders/105.htm